Colorectal cancer constitutes the single largest diagnostic group of noncutaneous cancers in Ireland. The number of colorectal cancers exceeds the total number of breast and lung cancers and deaths from colorectal cancer were second only in number to those from lung cancer. Colorectal cancer represents about 9% of all noncutaneous cancers diagnosed and 13% of cancer related deaths are due to colorectal cancer (National Cancer Registry in Ireland, 1997). The incidence of colorectal cancer is relatively high in Ireland which has the 5th highest incidence amongst women and the third highest incidence amongst men in European countries. In Ireland the cumulative probability of survival following a diagnosis of colorectal cancer is 71% at one year, 59% at two years and 50% at three years (National Cancer Registry). Colorectal cancer is frequently advanced at the time of first presentation and metastatic disease is present in up to 20% of patients at time of diagnosis. Heightened awareness of colorectal cancer among the general public and health care professionals may lead to earlier presentation, diagnosis and treatment with improved long term survival.
Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery
Clinical Guidelines Committee. Colorectal Cancer Management Clinical Guidelines. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2002.